finalsci230 - Running head: RAINFORESTS OF ATSINANANA...

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Running head: RAINFORESTS OF ATSINANANA 1 Rainforests of Atsinanana SCI230 March 20, 2011
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Running head: RAINFORESTS OF ATSINANANA 2 Rainforests of Atsinanana The Rainforests of Atsinanana is located in Madagascar and is comprised of six national parks. The six national parks which make up this serial site (namely Marojejy, Masaola, Zahamena, Ranomafana, Andringitra and Andohahela) are located along the 1,600 kilometer length of eastern Madagascar and represent the remnants of rainforests that used to cover much of the eastern half of the country (African Natural History, 2009). The eastern side of the country has a different climate and is said to the wettest part of the country. There are currently around 18 million people that call Madagascar home. This is a land of cultural richness, and tradition is very important to the people. These six national parks are critical in maintaining the unique biodiversity that exist in the Atsinanana Rainforest. Madagascar’s plant and animal life was mostly developed in isolation. This is because 60 million years ago Madagascar separated from the large mass of land to become an island. This island is the fourth largest in the world (Ward, 2010). This unique environment allows for many
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RAINFORESTS OF ATSINANANA 3 different species of animal and plant life, and they are all being threatened by human intrusion. All the species on this island relay on each other to live. They have their own environment that has been created to support the plants and animals specific to that area of Africa. The protected areas of Atsinanana have become critically important for maintaining ongoing ecological processes necessary for the survival of this unique biodiversity (World Heritage Convention, 2010). 80-90 percent of the species found in these moist forests occur only in Madagascar, and the site protects two-thirds of the island's mammals, including 25 species of lemur (African Natural History, 2009). Many of these species are being threatened with extinction. The Atsinanana Rainforest is also globally significant for fauna. This is especially true for primates with a high amount of lemurs. All five families of the Malagasy primates, all endemic lemur families, seven endemic genera of Rodentia, six endemic genera of Carnivora, as well as several species of Chiroptera are represented (World Heritage Convention, 2010). Deforestation of the
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finalsci230 - Running head: RAINFORESTS OF ATSINANANA...

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